TOOL
Alternative Metal / Progressive Metal • United States

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Formed around 1990 in Los Angeles, California, United States, Tool is a band that is most noted for combining heavy metal with a wide variety of progressive structures, irregular time signatures and lyrics that range from angry diatribes to meditations on philosophical and social matters.

After performing a handful of shows in the Los Angeles area and up the West Coast, they toured in the United States with Rollins Band in the summer of 1992 in support of their EP Opiate. Their first full length recording, Undertow, was released in 1993.

Emerging with a groovy heavy metal sound on their first release, when the genre was dominated by thrash metal, they were later seen at the top of the alternative metal movement with the release of their second full-length studio album Ænima in 1996, the first recording the band made after original bassist Paul d'Amour left the band to
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TOOL Discography

TOOL albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.48 | 50 ratings
Undertow
Alternative Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.09 | 73 ratings
Ænima
Alternative Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 4.34 | 108 ratings
Lateralus
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 69 ratings
10,000 Days
Progressive Metal 2006

TOOL EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.17 | 34 ratings
Opiate
Alternative Metal 1992

TOOL live albums

TOOL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
72826
Alternative Metal 1991

TOOL boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.25 | 13 ratings
Salival
Progressive Metal 2000

TOOL singles (4)

.. Album Cover
2.55 | 5 ratings
Prison Sex
Alternative Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.57 | 5 ratings
Sober
Alternative Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.39 | 4 ratings
Schism
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
2.27 | 3 ratings
Parabola
Progressive Metal 2002

TOOL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.82 | 6 ratings
Parabola
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.92 | 6 ratings
Schism
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.06 | 7 ratings
Vicarious
Progressive Metal 2007

TOOL Reviews

TOOL Undertow

Album · 1993 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Tool-Undertow

'Undertow' is the debut studio album by progressive/alt metal band Tool. Tool made a great start with their debut EP 'Opiate', it was unique, heavy, and a bit experimental on the last track. A year later they released their debut studio album, and it expanded upon everything the EP had and more.

The album opens up with the strong 'Intolerance', where Keenan gives a great vocal performance as always. Halfway through, Adam Jones plays some awesome riffs. Next comes the catchy groove of 'Prison Sex', with a great bassline played by Paul D'Amour. One of my favorites on the album is the next track 'Sober', which was surprisingly sampled by electronic band Orbital on their song 'Tootled'. All of the instruments compliment each other amazingly, with a great menacing chorus. The bass is very strong in this song, being heard at the perfect times. My favorite on the album is probably 'Crawl Away', which is more reminiscent of 'Opiate' feeling much rawer. The bridge kicks ass, with awesome riffs and double bass coming after Keenan's screams of 'This is my love'.

The experimental side of the title track of the previous EP, is expanded in such songs on this album like 'Bottom' and 'Disgustipated'. 'Bottom' is another favorite of mine, which starts out with awesome guitar hooks and Keenan's raw vocals. However, about two minutes through the songs slows down to steady drum beats. Distorted guitar plays in the background during spoken word. 'Disgustipated' could be debated on weather it's a 'song'. It starts with slowly speeding up percussion. I really like this part with Keenan's powerful 'This is necessary'. After that comes back on and off a few times, the rest of the song is silent other then a continuing sound.

Overall, even though I wouldn't say it's as good as the albums that would come later, I still find it to be near flawless. After all, you can't go wrong with any Tool album.

Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

TOOL Opiate

EP · 1992 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Tool-Opiate

Unlike later albums like 'Lateralus', Tool's debut EP 'Opiate' shows a much rawer and angry sound. 'Undertow', which would come out a year later, still maintains some similar qualities but still enhances and adds to their sound.

Opiate has four studio recordings and two live performances, and one hidden track. The opening track 'Sweat' is my personal favorite on this EP, having both similarities and differences from their later albums. Maynard James Keenan's vocals are already powerful and standing out. Adam Jones gives some great riffing during the bridge. Both 'Hush' and 'Part of Me' are songs perfect for headbanging, with good crunching guitar. The two live tracks are both really good performances, and the final track 'Opiate' is great other then the odd hidden track. The hidden track reminds me of the weirdness of 'Disgustipated' on the next album, except being much shorter.

Overall, 'Opiate' was a great beginning for my 2nd favorite band. Short and sweet, but a great addition.

Hope you found this review helpful

Feel free to comment!

TOOL Undertow

Album · 1993 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
Undertow" is the debut album by the American progressive/alternative metal band, Tool.

The full - length debut album is said to have kept the life of all heavy metal in the mainstream media due to it's success. "Undertow" is also the cause of Tool's undeniable later success, being that their debut EP, "Opiate" was not as highly regarded, and did not get them critical reception. Although Tool's later albums, including "Ænima" and "Lateralus", Undertow still remains one of the most highly regarded progressive metal albums of all time.

1. Intolerance

Opening up the album is the first track, 'Intolerance'. The song starts with quiet swooshing synth noises, until the heavy guitar riffs come in to take the stage. The vocal value takes a slight decline in the beggining, ranging from too weak to way too over the top, but the chords and riffs remain excellent throughout. The track gets faster in the middle of the song, and a great heavy bridge leads to the end of the song. A More weak track from the album, but still great. (8/10)

2. Prison Sex

'Prison Sex' is the 2nd single from the album. Starting out with metallic noises, the song amps up with some fast and heavy guitar chords. The bass is getting more and more noticable as the album progresses, however the drums are getting less noticable. The vocals are slightly too loud over the other instruments, but are still great. The song is noticably more heavy, and gets more instrumental time. And the vocals are also in a good key. A nice track from the album. (9/10)

3. Sober

'Sober' is the first single from the album, and also the most highly regarded. The song starts out with an extremely heavy bass chords, and an amazing drum riff leads into the main song. As the song progresses, the drums, bass, and guitar all seem to work as one instrument, and shift into separate ones during the choruses until inevitably joining up again. The vocals are absolutely spectacular in this song, and very nice to the ears. Unlike other songs from the album, 'Sober' is able to be listened to at any time, in any mood, and in any place. Amazing song, and my favorite from the album. (10/10)

4. Bottom

A more subtle and heavy track then it's former songs, 'Bottom' takes the third track on the album. There is no slow moments in the song- in fact, every part of the song is nice and constant. Changes are done when they are needed, and the riffs remain heavy. The drumming is nice and catchy, however the bass is less noticable. A nice, catchy song. (9/10)

5. Crawl Away

Starting with the faint sound of a band playing, 'Crawl Away''s guitar quickly comes in at a fast pace. As the guitar continues, we are suddenly blasted with heavier riffs then we are used to. The guitar remains in the lead, until the bass ultimately takes over. The song is an awesome battle between bass and guitar, while the vocals and drums are taking over the backround noise. An amazing song, and definitely one of my favorites. (10/10)

6. Swamp Song

'Swamp Song' brings us an almost completely instrument ruled song. The lyrics seem to just blend in with the instruments so much it doesn't seem to be there, just adding to the noise. However, this does not make the song un-enjoyable. In fact, it makes the song have a certain flow, giving it a nice, catchy feel. Another great song from the album. (10/10)

7. Undertow

Unlike the other heavy songs on the album, 'Undertow' seems to just have a more dulled down version of the chords. In fact, the production they used seems to be the same they used in 'Sober'. Except in 'Sober', it fit in well. In this song it seems oddly misplaced. Besides that, the vocals are nice and vivid, the drumming and guitar are great also. The lack here is the base, it just seems to be alongside the drums and not playing it's own part. (8.5/10)

8. 4 Degrees

'4 Degrees' is another vocal dominated song, just like 'Undertow', and the other instruments seem to be backround sounds in some places. Unlike 'Undertow', the bridge is absolutely excellent, however the song starts to get quite repetitive. Not much else to say about it. Great, but not the best. (9/10)

9. Flood

A slower track, with more drum and guitar domination, 'Flood' comes in with nice echoey vocals, and nice heavy chords. Where the song has it's errors is that the bridge drags on too long. The bass is the only upside to keep you interested during it. The vocals are basic and sort of bland, until the chorus, which is an excellent piece of Tool vocal work. A nice, but slightly weak song. (8/10)

10. Disgustipated

I don't even know what to say about this finale. Should it even be considered music? I think it is a great work in experimenting with different sounds, but definitely not something to close out nice heavy album like "Undertow". It is an absolutely useless symphony of weird echoey sounds, sheep, radio voices, whistles, and hammers. Not to mention- this song drags on for (15:47). That is just to long for a song that is mostly dominated by annoying mind bending whistles. Other than the whistling, the song has less than a minute of nonsensical lyrics and random sound beats. An awful droning, repetitive ending to the album. In fact, it got so annoying that I couldn't even listen to it anymore. Definitely not worth listening to. (2/10)

Overall, Tool's debut album was definitely the cause of Tool's undeniable rise in popularity. And we can all agree, "Undertow" saved metal's asses when it was starting to fall in numbers of listeners. All later and greater albums have to give credit to "Undertow", for making it possible for Tool to continue on what they do best-make metal music.

---------------

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any questions or opinions, I would be delighted to hear them. Just post them in the comments or just send me a message if you need to. Thanks! -VU-

TOOL Opiate

EP · 1992 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
After releasing the demo “72826” we get TOOL's first official release OPIATE in the form of a 26 minutes plus EP. TOOL has had the same exact lineup from the beginning with Maynard James Keenan on vocals, Adam Jones on guitar and Danny Carey on drums. The sole exception is that Paul D'Amour handles bass duties on OPIATE and the follow-up first full length album “Undertow.”

The template of TOOL's unique sound has already fully blossomed here. Although this is more straight on hard groove rock, it is nonetheless the basic sound which would unfold itself into their more popular progressive albums that would begin with “Aenima.” Unfortunately despite being a fairly consistent and pretty good album, it seems a little generic compared to the much more ambitious efforts that came later. However, I really like having this album in my collection just because it delivers that raw energy of an early ambitious band greasing its wheels for the big time.

Despite being a short EP there is a hidden 7th track which begins 6 minutes and 6 seconds after the final title track called “The Gaping Lotus Experience.” A very good but not outstanding first effort for TOOL. Of course, everyone knows the best of this band was a few years away.

TOOL 10,000 Days

Album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The only psychodramatic occult concept album to include a repeated refrain about shitting the bed, Tool's 10,000 Days finds the band travelling further down the increasingly progressive trajectory suggested by Aenima and especially Lateralus. The evolution in the band's sound is a bit more gentle than the quantum leap between Undertow and Aenima, or even the jump from Aenima to Lateralus, but the album should be pleasing to anyone who's fond of Tool's progressive direction - though if you were more intrigued by the alternative metal style of Undertow (or the alternative-progressive fusion of Aenima) you're not going to see a return to that here, and sometimes the band's noodlings end up becoming experimental for experimental's sake rather than going anywhere interesting.

TOOL Movies Reviews

TOOL Vicarious

Movie · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Earendil
Many descriptions and reviews on the internet are misleading about the content of this Vicarious DVD, and for that reason I didn't purchase it until recently. What a mistake to wait! This DVD is essential for any Tool fan and an excellent find for anyone who likes the surreal, psychedelic, and strange. The main feature of the DVD is the Vicarious short film, which is Tool's first completely CGI video. Adam Jones and Alex Grey are the two main artists behind the video, and it's a really cool experience to see their ideas merge. Anyways here are the full DVD contents:

1. Vicarious music video (9 minutes)

2. 2 overdubs of the music video with actor/comedian David Cross making hilarious commentary (18 minutes)

3. Vicarious documentary (40 minutes)

4. Footage of the storyboards from Alex Grey and Adam Jones (1 minute)

5. Footage of Alex's art gallery COSM and him talking about it (4 minutes)

Rating: 8/10

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Doomster wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Why are Flood and Disgustipated the same track on the "Undertow" tracklist?

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